The 2016 MacBook Pro might come with a 4K-capable CPU, AMD GPU and USB-C
Stephan Jukic – August 23, 2016
Here we are more than a year after the release of Apple’s last extremely popular MacBook Pro version and this means we can almost certainly look forward to a new model right around the corner, at least based on what rumors are saying.
More specifically, a considerable amount of speculation is revolving around several key features the next generation of the Pro notebook from Apple will possibly have, both internally and externally, at least according to recent reporting from paste magazine and other tech watching sources.
First let’s go over the externals we might see in the upcoming MacBook Pro before delving into some particularly 4K-friendly hardware details for the new portable machine.
Two interesting aspects of the new Pro notebook which we could possibly see include an OLED touch bar instead of function keys along the top of the new MacBook Pro’s keyboard. While physical button keys have been a mainstay of both Windows and Apple notebook designs for many generations, they’re getting a bit dated given the new technologies available for this design aspect and Apple might just take advantage of one such innovation in the form of an OLED-based strip bar which will offer functions as needed by users with automatic adaptation capacity and quick access to select on-screen apps as well. In other words, the OLED space on the next MacBook Pro could simplify keyboard use in some serious and cool looking ways that would make the new notebook more useful than previous models for serious multi-taskers.
On top of this, Apple may definitely go for a Touch ID security log-in system in their next Pro. This has been useful for iPhone users and there’s no reason to think it won’t come to the Pro, which is why rumors are strongly suggesting that this is exactly what Apple will include in their next machine, possibly even as a part of the supposed OLED touch bar.
Moving along on external design innovations, we can also almost certainly look forward to a new thinner physical design in the next MacBook Pro release. This could mean a body that’s shallower, offers a smaller footprint and of course also weighs less, even if it doesn’t quite reach the thinness and minimalism of the latest MacBook Air laptops.
Next and particularly important to fans of serious display and video rendering power will be the possible inclusion of superbly powerful new processing chips, possibly from Intel by way of its extremely powerful, 4K UHD-capable Skylake chipsets for 2015 and 2016. These are by far the most likely candidates for inclusion in Apple’s next MacBook Pro. It’s also worth noting that WiGig and WiDi short-range, high speed data transfer along with wireless battery charging are part of the Intel Skylake chipset’s full capabilities, though we htink the 2016 MacBook Air won’t come with these more exotic technologies enabled (though we might find ourselves surprised).
On top of these CPU chops, there is even speculation about the integration of AMD’s newest 2016 Polaris graphics chips, which are thin, highly energy efficient and also designed to deliver some very serious speed when it comes to processing high resolution and ultra HD display visuals in the devices they’ve been built into so far. In fact, AMD’s latest and most efficient 1440p gaming GPU, the RX 480 uses Polaris chipset technology and that particular graphics card is a superb performer on power efficiency and video delivery. Having such technology in the MacBook Pro would mean a serious boost to the video editing and even gaming chops of these Apple machines.
Finally, there’s a very good chance that the next generation of MacBook Pro will come with powerful new USB-C connectivity ports. These have already been included in Apple’s 12 inch MacBook notebooks and offer a whole new set of options when it comes to USB connectivity. They can not only handle much larger data loads more quickly but are also extremely powerful ports for rapid battery charging.
All of the above is heavy with speculation but there’s plenty of credibility to it as well. We won’t go as far as to say that the next MacBook Pro will also come with a 4K UHD screen but if the Intel Skylake chips, USB-C ports and AMD GPU technology are all included in the machine, it will definitely be powerful enough to rival many actual 4K UHD notebooks from other manufacturers.
Current rumors about the release date of the 2016 MacBook Air with 4K-capable Skylake technology claim the new laptop might arrive as early as September of 2016 so we’ll keep you posted on developments as they come up.
Story by 4k.com